Sunday, 31 December 2017

The White Hart Inn, Bath

The White Hart Inn, Bath was Bath's oldest recorded inn, dating back to at least 1503.  Jane Austen used it as a location for characters in Persuasion, whilst Charles Dickens immortalised the landlord Moses Pickwick in The Pickwick Papers.  Moses Pickwick succeeded his uncle, Eleazar Pickwick "the most celebrated of Bath's landlords".

The White Hart was demolished in 1867 and replaced by the Grand Pump Room Hotel.  This in turn was demolished in 1959 and replaced by Arlington House, "a bland, collonaded Baldwin-style building".  The White Hart Inn was on the junction of Stall Street and Westgate Street.The flyer below, from 1828, advertises all the coaches running from there.

The advertisements below are undated but belong to the pre-railway era, both advertising coaches from the White Hart Inn, Bath.

By 1844 the coaches now link to the railways.

The postcard shows the "White Hart Inn" in the coaching era, along with the Guildhall, Bath.

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Coaching Ephemera

The following are advertisements for Coaching Inns or timetables for Coaches, the first dated example being a post-coach timetable from the Castle and Ball, Bath in 1789.

Fly Waggons were a much slower type of coach, taking about 3 days to get from Bath to London.  Below is a coach ticket for three people, with an extra charge of 6d for porterage.

Below is an undated flyer for Nelson's Coaches used as a receipt.

Another undated flyer, this time for the Royal Mail and Coach Office, York House, Bath.  It's interesting from a personal perspective to see daily coaches from Bath to Warwick, Leamington & Coventry.

Sunday, 24 December 2017


One reason that James Palmer's mail coaches could improve on the previous times was that roads were slowly improving through private investment in Turnpike roads.  The investment was recovered by charging to use the roads, though Mail coaches were free, sounding their horn to get the gates opened so that they were not stopped.  The item below is a turnpike ticket for the Wells turnpike, from 1790.

The item below is a ticket for the Black Dog turnpike from the 1860s.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

The Coaching Era

The Mail Coach era began when John Palmer's experimental mail coach journey went from Bristol to London on 2nd August 1784, reaching London in 16 hours (something that had previously taken 38 hours).  Other mail coach routes were then authorised by Pitt and by 1786 Palmer was made Surveyor and Comptroller General of the Post Office.  Mail stopped going by coach with the advent of the Railways, the last mail coach running in 1846.

The Bath Chronicle of the period was filled with advertiesments for Coaches, as shown below.

The small map below shows the Bath to Bristol road, from Paterson's Direct Roads c. 1785.

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Bath Ephemera - Property Tax, Armorial Bearings, Fire Insurance, Stuckey's Bank

A final burst of Bath-related ephemera starts with a receipt for Property Tax in 1813, with an impressed stamp for the receipt.

From 1886, here is a Licence to use Armorial Bearings (but not on a carriage) with a Charles St, Bath single ring handstamp.

From 1892 this next item is a receipt for the renewal of Fire Insurance.  "The use of a Steam Thrashing Machine on Farms is allowed, without extra charge."

And finally from 1904, a cleared cheque for £24-4-7 drawn on an account with Stuckey's Banking Company Ltd.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Bath - Undated Roller Cancel, Reply Coupons and Premium Bonds

Some slightly more mundane items this time, though this first sheet with two examples of an undated "BATH / SOMERSET" roller cancel used on envelope, one in black and one in red, is not common.

However these next items are much more widespread, examples of an International Reply Coupon and a Commonwealth Reply Coupon with "BATH / SOMERSET" single ring handstamps from 1965 and 1970 respectively.

This Premium Savings Bond has a "BATH   SOMERSET" single ring handstamp from 1970.  I've looked but I don't think it's won anything.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Bath - Insurance, Police, Bath Stone & Great Exhibition

A random collection this time with a postcard, for the Sun Insurance Office in October 1914, which was an acknowledgment of a communication from the previous day (postcards were the equivalent of today's email or text message).

This envelope has the seal of the Bath Police on the reverse (1879).

... Two postcards from Bath and Portland stone companies, from 1887 and 1911.

... and finally an address of the Bath local committee on the 1851 Great Exhibition to drum up subscriptions and to send Exhibition specimens.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Bath - Piano Tuning

In Victorian England a lot of middle class houses had a piano.  Duck, Son & Pinker Ltd had a music store in Bath.  The first item is a postcard saying that their piano tuner would be in the area in a few days time, from September 1928.

The receipt below, from September 1940, was for work to an organ.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Bath - Invoices/Receipts

This post has a number of items of ephemera associated with Bath shops and businesses, mostly with interesting letterheads, starting with a receipt for Davies, Green & Jameson, dispensing and family chemists (1853).

Next is a receipt for Samuel Evans, a linen draper, haberdasher, hosier, glover, laceman etc. (1860).

The top item below is an invoice for George Humphries' Flour Mills (1874) with an envelope for W.Bennet, dispensing and family chemists.

The final receipt is for H. Butler, ladies' & gentlemen's fashionable boot warehouse (1890)

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Bath - Laundries, Clothing, Confectionery & Sausages

A bit more industrial this time with  an unused postcard for Willways Dye Works and Laundry Co., which has a nice picture of the river on the reverse.

W & R Cook Ltd was a woollen mill and later a clothing factory.  This envelope to Nova Scotia dates from November 1903, after they started manufacturing ready-made clothing.

Bryant Bros sold Scotch Confectionery (1905), while Spear Bros & Clark produced Wiltshire Bacon and celebrated Bath Sausages (1901).

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Bath - Books

A book-ish theme this time, starting with some postcards from W.H. Smith & Son, from 1909 to 1923.

... a couple more postcards with a Bath book related theme, from 1908 and 1941.

... and some advertising material from T. Harding, Son & Co., printers, paper bag makers, and wholesale stationers.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Bath - Brewing

A switch to a brewing theme - this first envelope from Smith Bros & Co. Ltd. has a Bath Krag cancel from 1915.

This earlier but less pretty envelope, used in April 1855, has the seal of the Northgate Brewery on the reverse.

And finally a couple of pieces of brewing ephemera ...

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Bath - Hotels

The first hotel is the Grand Pump Room Hotel, with examples of their envelopes from 1893 and 1897.

York House Hotel was previously a Coaching Inn (more on this later).  This envelope is from 1898.

The Empire Hotel (postcard sent in 1910) was described as a "monstrosity and an unbelievable piece of pompous architecture" by Pevsner.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Bath Miscellany - Trams, Advertising, Pump Rooms, Sanitation

The next series of posts are going to be yet more "Bath", but this time of a more miscellaneous or ephemeral nature - starting with a comic postcard dated 1st January 1904 predicting the outcome of the first electric tram service in Bath, which started on 2nd January 1904.

This next sheet has two illustrated envelopes with sepia-toned images of the Spa and the river, from 1937 and 1956 respectively.  The bottom envelope has a nice "TO PAY / POSTED / UNPAID" cachet.

Then a piece of ephemera showing the price list for the Bath Pump Rooms, from July 1842.

This next entire is from the City of Bath Urban Sanitary Authority, from October 1893, with a nice Bath squared circle cancel.

This is the contents of the entire, requiring that the drains be fixed.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

"Mis-directed / Bath"

Here are two examples of the "Mis-directed / Bath" handstamp, the first from June 1861.

The second example is from July 1879, nine years later than previously recorded.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017


Here are examples of three different Missent to Bath handstamps, starting with a framed "MISSENT TO BATH" handstamp from March 1820, known in use from 1813 to 1825.

The next cover has a blue "Missent to / Bath" handstamp from August 1852, known in use from 1849 to 1852 in blue.

The final cover has a blue "Mis-sent / to / Bath" handstamp from July 1857, known in use from 1857 to 1860 in blue.